The Fall is here… and “Sassy” is already on the dry and under a tarp, ready to hibernate and wait for her return to the water in the early Spring.
As I prepared her during the last week and then hauled her out on her trailer, towed her to her wintering quarters, cleaned and covered her with the tarp, I thought what, if any, of all this annual ritual might deserve a note in the blog.
The following two considerations floated up as being likely of interest to other messabout boaters:
First, the way the tarp gets attached to the trailer is – I believe – quite original. The tarp has grommets and I like to attach it to the frame of the trailer using 50-feet long lines and with as few knots as possible. Also, threading the lines through the grommets is never practical. Hence I discovered a new use for cheap plastic shower curtain rings of the kind that can be snapped shut close and easily opened:
The line is nudged doubled through the grommet, and a ring is passed through the fold of the line thus holding it in place without having to thread the entire line through. Since the ring does not go through the grommet, it can sustain a much stronger pull that its flimsy plastic would allow. Then, in the spring, detaching the line is as simple as opening the ring and letting the line slip back through the grommet.
Second, at 70, I can still manage the entire operation alone: from bringing the mast down to setting the tarp up. The most challenging parts are removing the sail from the threes spars, bringing the Sportyak II dinghy up the roof of the Jeep and transferring the Tohatsu long-shaft 4 HP outboard engine (my son, who is a certified mechanic, would not let me call it a “motor”…) from the bracket at the stern of the boat to the trunk of the Jeep and then to its stand in the garage. But the fact that I can still manage all this entirely by myself comes of little surprise, since this was always a foremost consideration at the time of choosing a SunCat 17, a Jeep RGB (Diesel), a Sportyak II and a Tohatsu 4HP.
Thank you “Sassy”… changing a bit (actually, quite a lot…) the lyrics ending the third act of “La Bohème”: “Ci ‘rivedrem’ alla stagion dei fior!”